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The Opening Week Survival Kit

Some things you could do over the next few days to maintain sanity and prepare for one of the biggest opening games in Louisville football history.

Andy Lyons

College football starts in earnest tomorrow. It’s a big deal. There’s a problem, though, and it’s that Louisville football doesn’t start until Monday. That means that we have four whole days before it’s game day.

Look, it’s not all bad. There will be plenty of things to occupy us (like the aforementioned college football that starts tomorrow) for these four days despite the fact that none of us really want to do anything other than watch Louisville football. The excitement around this season has been overflowing for a while now.

It’s reaching the point where everyone is like that little kid on a long road trip that decides he/she is going to drink a gallon of Kool Aid before getting in the car, only his/her parents can’t pull over for a bathroom break because their road trip currently happens to be covering a span in the middle of Kansas where there aren’t any rest stops for the next 80 miles.

That’s a shoddy metaphor. The next four days are like those 80 miles. That was a simile. So was the paragraph previously labeled as a metaphor. Right.

So what are we supposed to do? There are other things in life that are worth our time, it’s just that when football starts happening it gets harder to see them. Lucky for you, some kind soul has thrown together this handy dandy survival kit. Here are some friendly suggestions of things you can do for the next four days, divided by day.


It’s unfortunate that this is the only day that doesn’t include other football, so get creative. The VMA’s and Emmys have already happened over the past couple of nights, which is a bummer because award shows are great ways to either kill four hours or fall asleep for eight-plus hours.

To build off of those award shows, you could…

A.) Listen to the music that won on Sunday night. You shouldn’t do that.

B.) Watch some of the shows that won/were nominated on Monday night. Nominees/winners that are currently on Netflix include Breaking Bad (big winners); Orange is the New Black, Sherlock, Portlandia, American Horror Story, Parks and Recreation, House of Cards and more. This is an excellent option, because once you get hooked on a TV series on Netflix, it can be all she wrote for a solid three hours or more.

If you need some sports, the Yankees and Tigers are on ESPN at 7 p.m. Also, since this post is ultimately in the name of college football, there is a game on ESPNU tonight between Georgia State and Abilene Christian at 7:00 p.m. Another sporty option for tonight is knocking out a few mock drafts to get ready for fantasy football season. Preparation is key.


At last, major college football is here. Take your pick of one or two of these:

6:00 – #21 Texas A&M at #9 South Carolina – SEC Network (!) and WatchESPN

7:00 – Wake Forest (Go ACC!) at Louisiana-Monroe – ESPNU and WatchESPN

8:00 – Boise State vs. #18 Ole Miss – ESPN

10:00 – Rutgers (B1G!) at Washington State – Fox Sports 1

You’ll probably be happy to be watching meaningful football again, but if you still need some meaninglessness in your sports life, flip over to NFL Network at 10:00 for some week-four preseason action between the Seahawks and Raiders.

Non-sport options include (among many other things) going to dinner with your significant other, seeing a movie and being productive at work. Tomorrow is also solid down time to stock up on any groceries/supplies (beer) that you may need for the weekend/Monday night. Finally, you may want to visit an area mall and pick up some new black Louisville gear. See how exciting this is? Tomorrow night is a great utility night, and you can’t afford to let it go to waste.


Here are your nationally televised college football options:

7:00 – BYU at Connecticut – ESPN and WatchESPN

7:30 – Jacksonville State at #8 Michigan State (B1G’s only hope?) – Big Ten Network

7:30 – Bowling Green at Western Kentucky (in Bowling Green. Weird.) – CBS SN

10:30 – UNLV at Arizona (Rich Rod alert) – ESPN

If you’re craving some Cardinal athletics, you need to get tickets right now for the grand opening of Lynn Stadium. Louisville’s women’s soccer team will kick off the festivities at 5:30 p.m. against Ole Miss, and the men will follow with a clash against #3 Maryland (B1G?!) at 8:00 p.m. For a report from men’s soccer media day and a season primer, click here. If you miss it, there will be an in-depth recap of the evening from yours truly right here on Saturday morning.

It’s Friday, so being productive at work only sort of applies here, but buying new Louisville gear is certainly still in play. Kroger/Beverage Warehouse/etc. are also open on Fridays if you still need to gather supplies.


It’s pretty self-explanatory. There’s college football galore on Saturday for the first time this season, so soak it all in. Some highlights of the day include:

8:30 a.m. – Penn State vs. UCF (how did this matchup get the Ireland nod?) – ESPN2

12:00 – Appalachian State at Michigan (not again, right?) – ESPN2

12:00 – #5 Ohio State at Navy (could be interesting) – CBS SN

12:00 – #7 UCLA at Virginia (Go ACC!) – ESPN

3:30 – Rice at #17 Notre Dame (0-0 all-time in conference play) – NBC

3:30 – West Virginia vs. #2 Alabama – ABC/ESPN2/WatchESPN

4:00 – Arkansas at #6 Auburn – SEC Network

5:30 – #16 Clemson (Go ACC!) at #12 Georgia – ESPN

8:00 – #1 Florida State vs. Oklahoma State – ABC

9:00 – #14 Wisconsin vs. #13 LSU – ESPN

There’s obviously more, but those are a few that could be fun. Non-football options here include a round of golf or a Louisville Bats game (it’s Johnny Cueto Bobblehead Night). Maybe you didn’t get to the movies earlier in the week, so this is a perfect time to get away and go watch instant classics like Into the Storm and The Expendables 3.


Game day eve. Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest, so make sure to take advantage of it and make sure you’ve got pre-game prep for Monday carefully outlined. Last minute shopping is perfectly acceptable here, especially if you want fresh stuff to throw on the grill for the tailgate. Bobby Petrino scripts his first drive on offense, so we shouldn’t tailgate any differently.

By the time you’ve gotten to the end of this comprehensive survival kit, it will be Monday morning. You’ll know what to do from there. The 80-mile journey in the middle of Kansas after a gallon of Kool Aid may feel more like 1,000+ in the end, but it will all be worth it around 8 p.m. on Monday night. If any other suggestions come to mind, feel free to add them. We're all in this together.